There are some decisions you’ll need to make early on that can significantly impact your business’s path to growth long-term.
Many businesses, for example, choose to start an LLC instead of a sole proprietorship because it will scale well over time, offering plenty of flexibility to grow into other types of incorporations. Some will choose high-quality, scalable SaaS software like CRM tools that will grow with their business so they don’t need to make a drastic change when it’s a huge pain (and potentially very expensive) to do so later down the road.
When you’re looking at how to set your business up for success and growth long-term, choosing a virtual phone system is one of those smart-for-now-and-for-later decisions that you’ll want to make.
In this post, we’re going to look at why you need a business phone number upfront, and how you can scale your business with a virtual phone system moving forward.
Why You Need a Business Phone Number Even When You’re First Starting
When a lot of solo-preneurs are laying the groundwork for their business, they may not realize that they need a business phone number. They hand out their personal phone number, saying they can always get a business number later if they need to.
This is a fallacy, and it’s one that often ends up coming back to bite business owners later on, even if they don’t scale much. Here’s why:
You want to separate the business from your personal.
At first you might be okay giving out your personal number, but it’s good to have separation. If someone calls at 6pm, you might be happy to answer if you think it’s a personal call, but you get sucked into a call with a client that could have waited until business hours.
Security is also something to consider; do you want an irritated client to keep calling you, or to have your personal number handed around? Probably not.
You want to keep your number consistent as you grow.
The last thing you want to do is change your business number just as you start growing, which you would need to do if you were setting up a business phone system. It’s much, much easier to just start with one number at the beginning you can keep long term.
You should be able to hand off your business calls if needed.
Let’s say you’re going on vacation or undergoing surgery with a three week recovery time, and you have a small team that can keep things going without you. You want to be able to forward your calls to someone else, which you can’t do if you’re using your personal number.
You look more credible.
Perception can be almost everything in business. At the very least, it accounts for a lot. Having a business number makes you look much more credible, established, and professional. That alone is worth the investment.
How to Grow Your Business with a Virtual Phone System
Having a business phone number is only part of the equation: In order to make a choice that will truly scale well, you’ll want to lock in a business number with a virtual phone system. (And if you already have a business number but are looking to join a virtual phone system, transferring your number is easy).
A virtual phone system allows you to add business numbers to your personal phone just by adding an app. The system works remotely because it’s based in Cloud storage instead of in-office hardware.
Here’s how you can quickly grow your business with a virtual phone system.
Easily Add Lines for New Hires
Many businesses start with the intention of growing eventually. This will inevitably mean bringing on new staff members.
A virtual phone system doesn’t require in-office hardware or hardwired phones. Instead, just add a new business line onto your existing plan, and have the new employees download the app.
Take Calls from Anywhere so You Never Miss a Sale
If you find yourself or a team member working remotely for any number of reasons (including a pandemic, potentially), you don’t want to run the risk of missing potential high-value or essential customer calls just because you’re not in the office.
Because virtual phone systems work as apps installed on your personal phone (but with a separate business number, of course!), you can take work calls even if you aren’t at the office or at a desk. Business can run as normally as it possibly could, all things considered, and you can take more calls and make more sales. That’s key to continued growth long-term.
Set up Ring Groups for Sales & Customer Service Calls
Once your business reaches a certain level, you won’t have individual team members tackling entire tasks on their own.
Instead of having one person be your sole customer service manager, they may now be a supervisor of an entire department that contains four other members.
Your accounting, HR, sales, and support teams can all grow quickly. And when they do, you don’t want your auto-attendant or receptionist to be randomly trying to guess who is available and who isn’t when patching through calls; you want the calls to go to the department and for the first available representative to answer.
As you scale, you can set up ring groups to help get calls answered quickly. When someone calls or is patched through to your sales department, for example, all available agents’ phones will ring. This significantly increases the speed in which a customer is helped, meaning happier customers and more sales.
Have a Phone System that Relocates With You
Let’s say that you start out in a small, private office in a coworking space that fits three people. What happens when you have to relocate to a larger office when your staff size scales to ten? If you’re using a conventional, in-office phone system, you need to start from scratch. This is expensive and frustrating.
When using a virtual phone system, however, there’s nothing to change except adding the new employees to your plan. You can even move cities, states, or even countries while relocating or adding on franchises, and your phone system will work just fine.
While growth is a major goal for many businesses, a large majority make mistakes early on that actually hinder their growth long-term. They make choices that they’re familiar with or that feel convenient early on because it suits their immediate needs, and then they find themselves resisting learning and paying for a new system until it’s well past time to do so.
It’s much easier and more profitable to choose a scalable phone system like Tresta from the early days of your business so that you can invest your time, energy, and funds on something else down the line. Working smarter not harder is what it’s all about.